Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia

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The Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM, English: Malaysian Higher School Certificate) is a pre-university examination taken by students in Malaysia. It was formerly known as the Higher School Certificate (HSC). The HSC was the precursor to the GCE A Level in the UK, and is still the name of the pre-university examination in some states in Australia.

The STPM is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council since 1982, which also runs the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) since 1999, unlike UPSR, PMR and SPM, which are all set and examined by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate, both of whom, however, are under the Ministry of Education.

STPM is one of the two major pre-university systems for admission to Malaysian public universities. The other is a one-year matriculation programme conducted by the Ministry of Education. STPM is not the only qualification accepted besides the matriculation programme and Malaysian Higher Islamic Religious Certificate (STAM). Candidates technically may apply for admission to degree-level courses with a variety of pre-university examinations considered equivalent with STPM, including A-Level. All those applying for universities, however, must have taken the MUET.

STPM is internationally recognised by many universities, especially those within the Commonwealth of Nations as well as the United States and the Republic of Ireland. Most universities consider STPM results equivalent to GCE A-Level results. In reality, STPM is significantly more difficult than GCE A-Level, due to the wider coverage of the syllabus. STPM is believed to be one of the top three most difficult pre-university examinations in the world[citation needed]. Because of that, many Malaysian students preferred taking A-Level or other pre-university programmes rather than STPM. However, there are also some[who?] who believes that STPM can better prepare students for degree courses in universities due to its wider syllabus.

From year 2012 onwards, new modular system will replace the existing terminal system for Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM).[1] Besides that, examination results under the new STPM assessment system will be monitored by a representative from Cambridge Assessment to maintain standards and quality.[2]

Form Six[edit]

Examination performance letter of the STPM examination

As the national education in Malaysia is modelled after the educational system in England, the STPM pre-university programme is the sixth form of secondary education, referred to as "Form 6". The Ministry of Education selects secondary schools it considers capable of providing Form 6 classes.

Students in Form Six are called sixth formers. Sixth formers in national secondary schools are usually distinct from other students in the lower forms such as wearing different school uniforms, usually given higher posts within the school's societies, often with lax enforcement of certain school rules and regulations and sometimes even holding a separate morning assembly and recess for sixth formers.

Sixth formers in most schools generally form their own association, officially called the Pre-University Student Representatives Council (formerly known as Form Six Association or the Form Six Society). These councils' main annual activity is the initiation of new Lower Sixth students during orientation.

Subjects[edit]

STPM candidates sit for no more than five subjects, all within the same examination season. All Science- and Mathematics-related subjects (Mathematics M, Mathematics T, Further Mathematics, ICT, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) are offered bilingually in English and Malay. All other exams, other than languages, are still offered only in Malay and are likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

STPM is an open-list examination; that means any combination of subjects may be taken. However, to be considered for Malaysian public university admission, students must take Pengajian Am (General Studies) and at least three other subjects. Most, if not all, schools and colleges offering STPM, however, do stream their students into science and arts (humanities).

Under the new modular system of STPM, students are allowed to take up to 5 subjects, including General Studies.[3] Due to the requirements of local universities, students are strongly encouraged to take General Studies, although it is not compulsory to do so. Besides, school-based assessment (SBA) will be implemented for all the subjects, made up the weighting of 20% to 40% of overall marks. Students are also allowed to repeat the examination if they are not satisfied with the results. Nevertheless, SBA cannot be repeated and repeaters are required to sit for an alternative written paper in place with SBA.

A list of all subjects available for STPM students are:

Language and Literature[edit]

Code Subject (Official Title) Subject (English Title) Examination Language
900 Pengajian Am General Studies Malay
910 Bahasa Melayu Malay Language Malay
911 Bahasa Cina Chinese Language Mandarin Chinese
912 Bahasa Tamil Tamil Language Tamil
913 Bahasa Arab Arabic Arabic
920 Literature in English Literature in English English
922 Kesusasteraan Melayu Komunikatif [a] Communicative Malay Literature Malay
a Formerly known as "Kesusasteraan Melayu (Malay Literature)". The subject is revised to "Kesusasteraan Melayu Komunikatif (Communicative Malay Literature)" due to the implementation of modular system in STPM.

Social Sciences and Religions[edit]

Code Subject (Official Title) Subject (English Title) Examination Language
930 Syariah Sharia (Islamic Law) Malay
931 Usuluddin Usuluddin (Islamic Studies) Malay
940 Sejarah History Malay
942 Geografi Geography Malay
944 Ekonomi Economics Malay
946 Pengajian Perniagaan Business Studies Malay
948 Perakaunan Accounting Malay

Sciences and Mathematics[edit]

Code Subject (Official Title) Subject (English Title) Examination Language
950 Mathematics M (Management) [a] Mathematics M (Management) English & Malay
954 Mathematics T (Technology) [b] Mathematics T (Technology) English & Malay
956 Further Mathematics Further Mathematics English & Malay
958 Information And Communications Technology (ICT) [c] Information And Communications Technology (ICT) English & Malay
960 Physics Physics English & Malay
962 Chemistry Chemistry English & Malay
964 Biology Biology English & Malay
a May not be taken with Mathematics T.
b May not be taken with Mathematics M.
c Formerly known as "Computing". The subject is revised to "ICT" due to the implementation of modular system in STPM.

Change in format[edit]

Mathematics S (stands for Applied Mathematics) and Mathematics T (stands for Pure Mathematics) in the old format of STPM (before year 2012) will be revised to Mathematics M (Management) and Mathematics T (Technology) respectively.

The syllabi for all Mathematics subjects will be divided into three parts based on topic areas.

Mathematics M

  • Algebra and Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Financial and Decision Mathematics

Mathematics T

  • Algebra and Geometry
  • Calculus
  • Statistics

Further Mathematics

  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Algebra and Geometry
  • Calculus


All Mathematics subjects (excluding Further Mathematics) share the same syllabus for "Algebra" section but different syllabus for "Statistics" section despite the same title.

Arts and Health[edit]

Code Subject (Official Title) Subject (English Title) Examination Language
966 Sains Sukan Sports Science Malay
970 Seni Visual Visual Arts Malay

Grades and Grade Points[edit]

STPM uses a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) system. There are 11 grades, which are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+ and D, with F as the failing grade. The grade points for each of these grades are between 4.0 and 1.0, A being 4.0 and D- being 1.0. The F grade gives a grade point of 0. From year 2012 onwards, CGPA point for each subject is known as Subject Grade Point (SGP) meanwhile the overall CGPA point for all subjects will be known as "Overall Subject Grade Point".[4]

In accordance with the implementation of modular system in STPM from year 2012 onwards, MEC will implement a new assessment system for each STPM subjects.[5] Cited the information from an experienced STPM teacher's website, marks below 40% (grade lower than C) is considered as fail. However, MEC announced that grade lower than C is considered as "Partial Pass".[6]

Paper Grade Subject Grade Subject Grade Point (SGP) (%)[7] Status
A A 4.00 Full Pass
A- A- 3.67 Full Pass
B+ B+ 3.33 Full Pass
B B 3.00 Full Pass
B- B- 2.67 Full Pass
C+ C+ 2.33 Full Pass
C C 2.00 Full Pass
C- C- 1.67 Partial Pass
D+ D+ 1.33 Partial Pass
D D 1.00 Partial Pass
F F 0.00 Fail

Each paper's grade and SGP appears on the result slip and the certificate. The subject's grade and grade point is determined by the weighted average results of all papers in that subject, where all papers must be passed, otherwise the grade and grade point would be, respectively, F and 0. The overall subject grade point is the average of the top four subjects taken and usually rounded up to 2 decimal points. Therefore, if a student scores A in four subjects and fail in the fifth, his CGPA would be 4.0.

The actual range of scores within each grade is undisclosed and changes annually, depending on the performance of the candidates. Usually, the range of marks of science subjects is higher than non-science subjects.[citation needed]

Cumulative and subject GPA at 2.0 and above is considered a pass with credit or principal pass. GPA below 2.0 is considered a sub-fail, and a 0 is considered a fail. Admissions to local public universities requires at least a CGPA of 2.0 and above, though private universities, university colleges and colleges generally may accept student with CGPA less than 2.0.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Format & Free Syllabus for STPM & MUET in 2012". Malaysia Students Blog. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Cambridge rep to monitor new STPM system". Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "New STPM's FAQ Page". Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "New assessment system for STPM". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "New assessment system for STPM". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "STPM Form 6 Academic Grading System 2012". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "STPM Form 6 Academic Grading System 2012". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 

External links[edit]